Home > Covenant Theology > The Covenants-Chapter 7f-Philology of the Covenants

The Covenants-Chapter 7f-Philology of the Covenants

But when, and how, were the promises, according to this meaning, to be fulfilled? Not certainly, in this life, nor fully until after the resurrection of the body, since previous to that event their realization was evidently impossible.

But were the promises in the covenants understood, in the sense now suggested, by Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and David, and the other saints of literal Israel? Was this one meaning at least, in which they embraced, and believed them? With reference to these inquiries our Lord himself, reasoning with the Sadducees, who denied the existence of separate spirits, and also the resurrection of the body, amply instructs us. He said, “Now that the dead are raised, even Moses showed at the bush, when he called the Lord, The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; for he is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” The souls of these patriarchs were therefore, still living, though their bodies were dead; and the promises in the covenants taught them that their bodies would be raised from the dead, since in their higher spiritual import, they secured to them the enjoyment of the land of Canaan forever. If they were not to be raised from the dead to this end, how could the promises ever be fulfilled? And what was true of them, in these respects, was true of all others in similar circumstances. And further. That the Canaan in which they were to dwell after the resurrection, was to be not on earth, but in heaven, is plain from the preceding part of this same conversation of our Redeemer. He expressly calls the promised country, “that world,” in contrast with the literal country, which he calls ” this world:” – ” The children of this world [literal Canaan] marry, and are given in marriage. But they who shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world [spiritual Canaan] and the resurrection from the dead [to prepare them for it] neither marry, nor are given in marriage. Neither can they die any more, for they are equal to the angels, and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.” That the covenants therefore, in their higher meaning, taught the resurrection of the dead, and the glorious realities of heaven, no one can question, since such was their construction by our Lord Jesus Christ himself. And still further. Because they did not understand the covenants in this sense, Messiah directly charges the Sadducees with culpable ignorance;- “Ye do err,” said he, “not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.” Paul also gives us an exposition of these covenants, and in exact consonance with that which we have just seen, from our Lord Jesus Christ. In his defense before King Agrippa, he hesitated not to say, and in the presence of the Jewish chiefs :- ” I stand, and am judged, for the hope of the promise made unto our fathers, unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God, day and night, hope to come.” But to what promise made to the fathers, and which when Paul spoke, remained to the twelve tribes unfulfilled, did they hope to come? Paul himself thus explains:- “Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you [King Agrippa] that God should raise the dead?” And in another place, when before Felix, he said :- ” I confess unto thee, that after the way that they [the unbelieving Jews] call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things that are written in the law, and in the prophets, and have hope towards God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.” But where is the promise to the fathers, of the resurrection from the dead, written in the Law of Moses? It is written no where, unless it be in these covenants, nor even here, except in the sense in which they have now been explained. God will raise up from the dead, all the spiritual seed of Abraham, and give them for an everlasting possession, that Canaan above, of which the Canaan on earth was the appointed emblem.

R. B. C. Howell- The Covenants

  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: